I feel stupid - I bought the GTX260 216 Superclocked Edition right around February this year and installed it myself. I've been pretty experienced in hardware from my enthusiast days until I lost my Dell job last year and I got a little rusty. This one mistake I must charge to experience.
Only last night I discovered that I may have not attached one of the two PCI-E 6-pin connectors properly ever since. You see, my old PSU had only one direct PCI-E 6-pin connector, so I used the card's 6-pin adapter for the second auxiliary power connection (on one end it's 6-pin, and there are two separate Molex 4-pin power connectors). The problem is I only attached ONE molex 4-pin connector and left the other one open. I would assume the card did not get as much power as it wanted from the PSU and that would probably have stressed the card to some extent.
I've been using the card for months - I don't know what the long term effects my negligence would have to the card. Everything "worked fine" except that I would at times have video artifacts while in COD4 and that if I applied new drivers, there was a 80% chance I got no video when I booted to Windows.
Anyone has a theory if my video card may have been damaged? The last straw was when I installed Windows 7 and after "finalizing installation", my screen had no video. I believe that's where the true native Windows/Nvidia video driver kicks in.
I then purchased a stock GTX275 and installation of Windows 7 had no problems. However I still did the same thing to the new card (only one molex connected to the 6-pin adapter) and played COD4 and Crysis Wars using the new card for at least two hours and that's when I realized my mistake. I'm worried that my new GTX275 would be damaged, too.
Any opinions on this matter?
(I since replaced my 500W PSU - Antec Earthwatts - with a Corsair 750TX, and yeah, I installed all the right power connectors this time)
Manufacturer: Custom build
Processor: Intel Core 2 Quad Q6600 2.4Ghz
Memory: 4GB OCZ PC2-6400 800Mhz DDR2
Hard Drive: 500GB Seagate Barracuda 7200RPM
Video Card: eVGA GTX260 Core 216 Superclocked 896MB
Monitor: Samsung SyncMaster 226cw 22" LCD
Sound Card: Sound Blaster X-Fi Xtreme/Steel Series 7.1 USB
Microsoft Vista SP1 32-Bit
Motherboard: Asus P5K 1066Mhz FSB
Computer Case: Antec Sonata w/ 500W PSU
"You see, my old PSU had only one direct PCI-E 6-pin connector"
The EA500 ?, it has two 6 pin connectors, and plenty of juice for the system you've specced out.
What do you know, I looked and there's actually a second 6-pin connector in that model now that you mention it. It's been rolled and tucked neatly somewhere before that's why I never found it. Now I feel even more stupid!
LOL thanks for the input! I'm a little disappointed that I tried to fix this "problem" with my wallet... now I can't back down with my promise to my best friend that the GTX260 is his now (lucky son of a...)